(DNO) Director of Alliance Francaise de la Dominique Pascal Tomasini has expressed disappointment in the level of interest shown by locals towards learning French with the organisation.
“I am a little bit disappointed about this. Because I think that people from Dominica are scared of French languages. They are not scared of French people; they are scared of speaking French,” Tomasini, who has served as the director of the institution for the past seven months, told Dominica news Online in an interview.
He said that the native Creole language, which has a fair percentage of French, gives locals an advantage in learning the language but this still does not motivate persons to register.
“This is the national language, Creole, but 40 percent of this language is French language and they know some basics, and for them it should not be so difficult to go forward and to know French. And most of them have relatives living in Guadeloupe, in Martinique, and their neighbours are French people. If they have to do business and fill out forms in Guadeloupe and Martinique they would have to fill in some forms. They would not have to fill it in Creole. They would have to fill it out in French…,” Tomasini said.
“It seems that people are more interested in Spanish. I think because maybe Spanish classes are free. I don’t know. Well the close neighbours….. For me it’s disappointing to see so few people coming to Alliance Francaise and learning French,” the director said.
The director however expressed optimism for a turnaround in statistics for 2011.
“So I hope it will work a little bit more for the next year. We did a lot of advertising. We tried to insist on the fact of the proximity of the two French islands and these relations between Dominica and Guadeloupe, its relationship between Dominica and Martinique….,” he said.
Tomasini stated that he is also hoping to form collaborations with the organisations such as Discover Dominica Authority and the World Creole Music Festival among others in the near future.
The Alliance Francaise is headed by a board which is elected by members of Alliance Francaise. It offers French and artistic courses to individuals of various age groups.
The local organisation offers translation services.
French movies with English titles are aired every last Wednesday of the month at the organisation.